Nathan opened the door and entered his apartment.
He didn't remove his shoes and made his way to his room.
Another cultural practice he learned here in Womania was that people don't usually remove their footwear when entering a house.
It took him about two months to get used to it.
In fact, in his first week here in Womania, when Amir invited some of his friends over, he almost lost his mind seeing them walking inside the apartment with their shoes on.
But of course, he didn't act out his emotions.
He and Amir lived here in this apartment.
And given that Amir was older and lived here longer, he just accepted it.
Amir rarely cleans because he's always out either from working or chasing women so Nathan took it to himself to do most of the cleaning.
He didn't mind being the "housewife" because he was used to it back when he and Karen used to live together anyway.
Nevertheless, that incident of Amir's friends entering the apartment with their shoes left a bad taste in his mouth.
Nathan opened the door to his room and entered.
Inside, he stripped down naked and then hanged his sweaty clothes.
He needed to dry off the sweat first before lumping them with his used clothes because it would smell funny.
After that, he wrapped a towel around his waist and went to the bathroom for a shower.
A few minutes later…
Nathan finished showering.
He standing in front of the mirror with a towel wrapped around his waist and tied his shoulder-length hair into a ponytail as he groomed his goatee.
He was attending a birthday party tonight, and although he didn't want to be there, he needed to at least look good.
He put down the electric shave and grabbed a pair of scissors.
He moved his face closer to the mirror.
He moved back.
He took a few steps back even further.
He stared at the reflection of his body in the mirror.
His body wasn't as big compared to before but he still had a great body compared to most people.
However, it still wasn't as aesthetically pleasing compared to a person who uses steroids or those people on the internet who claims to be "natural" yet look so inhuman.
3 years ago, that night when the armed men wearing ski masks entered his grandfather's house and hit him on the face with the butt of a rifle and the death of Maaz, he realized how weak and fragile the human body actually was.
He could workout and put on so much muscle all he wants but he could still be knocked down or killed with a weapon.
But despite all that, he still couldn't give up working out altogether.
When he was still young, the reason why he liked to lift weights was because it was mainly an individual sport. It also gave him the strength to deter bullies. And as he grew older, he viewed it as not only having a healthy body for functionality, but also for aesthetic purposes.
In this current time of his life, he stopped going to the gym and decided to do home workouts instead.
As long as he had a fit and healthy body, that was enough.
And plus, it was cheaper.
The third room of the apartment was used as a training room.
He and Amir bought some workout equipment.
It wasn't anything fancy though, just a bench press equipment, a piece of pull-up equipment, one barbell, and a few plates and dumbbells.
The was no treadmill. He never liked using them because it made him feel like a hamster running on a wheel.
When Nathan stepped outside the bathroom, there was a beautiful Caucasian woman waiting outside, catching him off guard for a quick moment.
Her hair and makeup were a bit messy because it looked like she just got up from bed, but she still was beautiful because of her natural beauty.
"Good morning," the woman said and smiled.
He noticed the woman's eyes tracing at his well-toned muscles.
Compared to Amir, Nathan's body was better.
He was also taller, about two inches.
However, when it comes to the face, Amir was just on a different level.
Amir had a face that looked like it belongs to a cover of a romantic novel and was photoshopped by a professional.
His eyes alone were mesmerizing. He had a perfect bone structure -- the nose, the jawline, everything. He also had a voice that was not only strong, confident but also had a sweet, calming charm in it.
Add in his money and status, it isn't wasn't surprising why many women consider him to be a high-value male.
Whereas with Nathan, if not for his long hair and goatee which made him look like a goon to be beaten up in movies by the main protagonist, his face would be so forgettable because it was nothing but average -- he was neither handsome or ugly.
'I forgot. Amir brought home a woman last night,' Nathan thought. "Good morning too."
"Oh! Sorry. My bad."
Nathan quickly stepped out to let her in.
As he made his way to his room, he could hear that the TV in the living room was on.
"Live with us today is Harry Gamberini. He's one of the lawyers who filed the case against the Haven family involving a number of local businesses that were obtained through illegal means. Some of which, according to rumors, was through murder. Harry, welcome to Good Morning Womania."
"Thank you for having me here, Tom. It's such an honor."
"You're welcome, Harry. Please tell us more about the case."
Hearing the morning talk show, Nathan remembered something.
'Oh, I almost forgot about.'
When he entered his room, he put on clothes first before checking his phone.
While he was jogging this morning, he received a few notifications. One of them was an email from one of the writers he was handling.
Nathan was an editor and was in charge of the international team. His work schedule is from 1:30 pm to 11:30 pm, Monday to Saturday.
Nathan grabbed his phone and checked his phone as he head to the kitchen to eat before going for a quick nap.
"Hey, cuz," said Amir.
Nathan glanced away from his phone and looked at Amir.
He was sitting on the sofa, drinking coffee and watching TV.
There was another cup on the coffee table.
"Happy birthday, cuz. You're getting old," Nathan said and smiled as he continued making his way to the kitchen to prepare his meal.
Amir put down his coffee mug and smiled back. "You're also catching up."
"You'll always be 2 years older than me though."
"You can have this second cup. Ida didn't touch the coffee and left."
'Ida? Oh... It must be that woman,' Nathan thought. "No thanks. I'm going for a quick nap after this."
"Okay," Amir said and switched the channel.
Nathan grabbed some eggs, veggies and bread.
"Doctor, let me get this straight. So many people are not using the terms psychopath and sociopath correctly?"
"Well, there's a lot of overlap. The fact is, a lot of people are using the terms interchangeably."
"Just know these two key differences: a psychopath is born, while a sociopath is created. It's basically a classic case of nature vs nurture."
"Wow, that's interesting. So how can one spot a psychopath?"
"To spot a psychopath, if a person prior to the age of 18 has shown a pattern of truancy, violence to the other kids, stealing and whatnot without feeling any stress or experience any remorse, they can be classified as psychopaths."
"They don't feel any remorse?"
"They don't. This is why they can be very charming. Let's say a police officer pulls them over and they have a dead body inside the trunk of their car. If you're the police officer, unless you know already know there's a body inside the trunk beforehand or suspect there is one, it will never cross your mind because there's no sign of stress at all on their face for you to detect."
"To them, doing such things is no different from taking a bath, eating, walking a dog or having a normal chat with someone."
"Then what about sociopaths? You said they're created?"
"Yes, a sociopath is created. Take for example a kid who grows up in a rough neighborhood and learns criminality to get by. Or a kid taught by his/her parent or mentor how to break the rules."
"Now, unlike psychopaths, sociopaths would still feel remorse. But as they continue to live that kind of criminal lifestyle, in time, they would learn not to feel any remorse because that way of life becomes the norm to them."
"So basically they adapt because of their environment or their life experience."
"Yes, experience could influence their view in life. However, the issue lies whether they will choose to do the right thing or not. If they choose to do the wrong thing and continue to do so, then of course, they can be classified as sociopaths."
"I see. Do you have any clients or patients that are diagnosed with psychopathy or sociopathy?"
"I have. However -- well, another interesting fact about them is that they would never go see a doctor unless they're court-ordered."
"All of them? Not even one?"
"None. From their perspective, they don't see any point in seeing one."
"That's very interesting. Thank you, Dr. Sanders. Now, let's go for a quick commercial break. When we come back, the good doctor will be discussing about narcissists next."
Nathan finished cooking and was eating his meal.
As he ate, he was reading the email of the writer.
He squinted his eyes.
According to the writer, he was fired from the company and was begging Nathan to ask the higher-ups to reconsider their decision.
The writer was a fresh college graduate and he couldn't afford to lose this job because his child was born just 2 weeks ago and they need money to cover the expenses.
Nathan wasn't surprised to hear that this writer was fired, he knew that there was a 99% chance that this writer was going to be fired because of the stunt he pulled a few days ago.
In fact, because of this writer, Nathan also got an earful from the higher-ups of the company.
What happened was, this writer, who was one of the top writers of the company and under Nathan's team, was given an important topic.
The topic was about an unarmed person of color immigrant who murdered 3 people before he was gunned down by the local police here in Cram city.
Now, it's important to note that their company is a pro-feminist and pro-immigrant type.
With that, regardless of whatever your personal views are, you should write it in favor of the company's political views.
However, this writer didn't write it that way.
In the case of Nathan, given that this person was one of their top writers, when this writer submitted the article to him for review, he didn't bother to check it at all and just published it right away.
A few hours later after the article was published, Nathan received a call and got an earful from the higher-ups of the company.
And of course, Kaab, Kaaf's son, was so delighted and also decided to scold Nathan and the writer.
He even told Nathan that he was nothing but a leech and should be thankful that if it wasn't for the fact that he was recommended by uncle Abbas he would've already been fired.
Nathan finished reading the writer's email.
He put down his phone and continued eating.
'You need the money to cover the expenses for your newborn child? Oh please, what a lame excuse.'
Putting aside the fact that the internet is a toxic place, throughout the years Nathan has worked online, one of the things he learned is that there are a lot of scammers so there's tons of lying involved.
Moreover, it was a cutthroat market so you're always on your toes and there isn't really any sense of job security.
If the employer likes your performance, he/she will keep employing you. But if you do anything stupid, you will immediately get cut off just like that.
And the best part of it all? You would be lucky if your employer would even pay you.
In the online job market, there's no such things as friends, only benefits.
In this case, he sees no benefit in helping the writer.
Moreover, if the writer really didn't want to lose his job, why did he pull that stunt in the first place?
Was it because he was one of the top writers so he thought he could get away with it?
Was is it because he thought it was the "right" thing to do?
Was is it because he wanted his thoughts and opinions to be heard?
Whatever the reason was, in Nathan's mind, it wasn't his problem.
That writer chose to write it that way despite being fully aware of the political views of the company they work for so he has to face the consequences of his actions.
Even Nathan himself, despite his so-called lone wolf persona, wouldn't dare to jeopardize his job all for the sake of expressing his own views.
Nathan stared at the TV in the living room from the dining table.
There was a razor commercial.
"I am a woman," said a little boy no older than 10 years old.
The screen faded out to feature another person.
"I am a woman," said a male teenager.
The screen faded out once more to feature another person.
"I am a woman," said a man in his mid-20s.
The screen faded out again to feature another person.
"I am a woman," said a man in his 50s.
The screen faded out again to feature another person.
"I am a woman," said a man in his 70s.
The screen faded out again. But this time, all 5 of the speakers from earlier were now together.
"We are women."
The screen faded out for the last time and there was a message plastered on the screen.
"Say no to transphobia. Love all women."
Nathan's mouth was left open.
His eyes blinked a couple of times before his brain was finally able to process what he just saw.
He finished his meal and then proceeded to wash his dishes.
After washing his dishes, he called out to Amir.
"What time was the party again?"
Amir, who was looking at his phone, turned around to look at Nathan.
"5:30 pm at the Haven Hotel."
Nathan went to his room to sleep.
I hope you guys enjoyed this chapter. Thank you for reading!
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